UK Government working to ensure children in Wales can receive £12m Queen’s Jubilee book ‘imminently’
The UK Government are working to ensure that children across Wales can “imminently” receive a history book about the Queen’s reign, a Conservative MP has said.
The Welsh Government said last month that the decision on distributing the ‘patriotic’ history book in Wales, which will cost £12m to produce, will be up to Education Minister Jeremy Miles – not the UK Government.
But Monmouth MP David TC Davies, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales said in the House of Commons that they were now working with the Welsh Government on the matter.
He was responding to a question from Conservative Aberconwy MP Robin Millar who said: “The UK Government have funded a book for every schoolchild in the UK to commemorate the platinum jubilee. A bilingual version has been printed for schoolchildren in Wales.
“What steps is the Minister taking to ensure that schoolchildren in Wales and Aberconwy—and even in Ynys Môn—will receive a copy of that book?”
David TC Davies answered: “The UK Government wanted to celebrate the enormous achievement and the enormous commitment to public service that has been made by our monarch, and have produced the book bilingually to ensure that schoolchildren across Wales are able to read bilingually about the contribution made by Her Majesty the Queen.
“I am sure they all look forward eagerly to receiving their copy.
“The UK Government are working with the Welsh Government to ensure that that can happen imminently.”
The UK Government have said that they will send every school child in Wales the “patriotic” book so that they and other children across the UK develop a “collective understanding” about the history of her time on the throne.
The contract awarded to DK books notes that 211,000 copies of a bilingual version of the book will be sent to pupils in 1,290 schools and other educational establishments in Wales.
But the Welsh Government told Nation.Cymru that the decision will rest with them, rather than the UK Government.
“We are not contributing to the cost of these books,” they said. “As Education is devolved in Wales, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language will make a decision on whether the book will be circulated to Welsh Schools once he has seen the final version.”
The contract agreed with published DK Books includes a clause that the books must be delivered to at least 99.5% of schools in Wales by 11 July 2022.
The book contract says that the supplier will provide a book “written with the aim of being inclusive, patriotic and ‘speaking to all children’ with regard to all regions of the UK”.
“The Jubilee itself will help communicate a narrative about modern Britain and its connections with the rest of the world, through local, community driven events,
including those led by schools, alongside national and Commonwealth events,” the contract says.
“The book will be a key part of this strategic aim, by ensuring that pupils, families, and teachers develop a collective understanding of the Queen’s reign, and by providing children with an appropriate legacy through personal ownership of this high-quality book.”
It adds: “The book shall be inclusive and patriotic, capturing a spirit akin to the London 2012 Olympics.”
The book is set to cost £12 million to produce with around 4.5 million copies sent to schoolchildren in the UK. However, the individual costs of producing a version for Wales and its distribution has been redacted from the document.
A Gaelic language version of the book will also be produced but will not be dual language.
The Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne, on 6 February this year.
Celebrations will culminate in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June.
A Platinum Jubilee Celebration on 12th -15th May will also see over 500 horses and 1,000 performers create a 90-minute piece of arena theatre.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.